Friday, August 26, 2022

The alleged victim was not involved in the investigation of Punter Ariza's bill. CBC Sports

WARNING: This article contains graphic material and may affect people who have experienced sexual violence or know someone affected by it.

Lawyers for a California teen who has accused a Buffalo Bills rookie and two of her former college teammates of gang rape said Friday that the NFL team has not contacted her for details, despite saying that He has done a “thorough investigation”.

The Bills picked Matt Araiza from San Diego State in the sixth round of the NFL Draft in April, and named him their starting punter this week. A person familiar with the matter told the AP that the Bills were not aware of the allegations against Ariza in April. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team is not commenting publicly about the allegations.

Officials from two different teams told the AP that they learned of Ariza’s involvement in an incident during the drafting process, but no one knew the extent of the allegations.

Dan Gillian, who represents the California teenager, said he had not heard from team officials since first notifying him of the allegations against Ariza in late July, when he said his team’s attorney, Catherine D’Angelo. Had a phone conversation with.

“She looked like she was worried. She says she’ll get back to me, and then she never did,” said Gillian, who posted a screenshot of the email to social media and then deleted, He says that he sent D’Angelo. “I even followed up and said, ‘Hey, you guys didn’t talk to me and called me back like you said. And they ignored it,’ too.”

lack of transparency

The Bills declined multiple requests for comment on Friday, a day after releasing a short statement saying they were aware of the allegations and had conducted their own investigation.

Ariza, 22, was with the Biles for their pre-season finale in Carolina on Friday night, but was not expected to play.

It was unclear whether the Bill’s investigation had ended before he was named to his opening day roster and the statement provided no details, a familiar lack of transparency that looms large over how NFL teams conduct internal reviews into allegations of misconduct. Checked this out again.

It also comes as the NFL and Cleveland Browns are grappling with a scandal involving quarterback Deshan Watson. Cleveland acquired Watson in a trade with Houston and signed him to a league-record US$230 million contract while facing civil lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct against two dozen women.

Watson will serve an 11-game unpaid suspension this season, pay a $5 million fine and undergo a professional evaluation. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has also been sharply criticized by members of Congress for not releasing details of the Washington Commanders’ investigation following allegations of workplace misconduct.

A person familiar with the situation told the Associated Press that Bill informed the NFL about the incident. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the case, was not sure of the timeline.

Officials who had limited knowledge of the allegations against Ariza during the drafting process said it did not affect his position on his drafting board as he was not interested in selecting a punter. Officials from three other teams said they had no knowledge of the allegations against Ariza before the draft and only came to know about the incident on Thursday. Given the sensitivity of the matter, everyone spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

filed suit

Gillian filed a lawsuit this week in San Diego County Superior Court accusing Araiza and two other San Diego state football players of raping a 17-year-old girl at a Halloween party at an off-campus home where Araiza was living A San Diego police investigation has been turned over to the district attorney’s office to determine whether to pursue the charges. DA spokeswoman Tanya Sierra said Friday that there was no timeline for when a decision would be taken.

Ariza’s lawyer, Kerry Armstrong, said the player knew he could be the target of allegations from October onwards. It was unclear whether he had informed the NFL about the allegations prior to the draft. Armstrong denied the allegations, citing the findings of his investigation, saying: “I don’t believe 100 percent that he ever forcibly raped or had sex with this girl while she was unconscious or intoxicated or It was anything like that.”

Armstrong said he shared the findings of his investigation with the Bills over the past month, before the team honored Ariza, known as the “punt god” for his booming kicks in college. Yes, early work on Monday. He also said that he had asked Ariza six weeks ago, when he was retained, to tell bill officials about the allegations.

“I told him, obviously, that whenever you try to keep something a secret like this, they’re going to find it anyway, so be very honest with them,” he said. “He has been. And I think that’s why he’s on the team right now.”

The NFL declined to comment other than being aware of the matter.

At San Diego State, one of the two remaining accused players remains on the roster but the other is not listed. The school said it did not investigate at the request of San Diego police in October.

The university said, “After careful consideration, SDSU determined that cooperating with the criminal investigation was an appropriate action to help ensure the highest likelihood of actual consequences for anyone found responsible.” ” A Title IX investigation launched in July is ongoing.

settlement prospects unclear

Bill appears to be following the same approach he took four years ago when LeCine McCoy was accused of beating up his ex-girlfriend during a break-in at a home outside Atlanta. Despite calls to cut ties with the player, Biles stood behind McCoy, who was never charged in the case and eventually led to an undisclosed settlement in the lawsuit filed against him.

The prospect of a settlement against Ariza was unclear as Gillian and Armstrong exchanged public charges.

Armstrong said Ariza was against the settlement, but the lawyer said the player’s parents told him to contact Gillian about the possibility. Armstrong said Gillian never responded, although Gillian has posted several text exchanges on her Twitter account that she said she had with Armstrong in late July.

He told the AP that he did so in response to Armstrong saying that his client was “committed to a cash grab because he’s a Buffalo Bill.”

“My client refuses to entertain the idea of ​​a monetary settlement,” Gillian wrote in a text to the AP. “It takes an apology, psychological counseling, charity for charity, etc., but once Kerry A starts her Joker show, I realized it was useless to try to reason with her and to talk to a civil defense attorney.” Withdrew the motion of Rs. before filing the suit.”

Gillian said the decision to file the lawsuit three days after Ariza was awarded the punting job was a result of her growing frustration at the lack of response she received from police on the progress of their investigation.

“They’re blowing us up,” Gillian said. “By filing a suit, we have the power of summons and so I can force them to do what they should.”

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